Today Robyn and I celebrate the tenth anniversary of our wedding. I am thrilled!

While that probably sounds like an obvious statement, let me tell you that I struggled with our anniversary a little this week. You see, we are currently facing a number of challenges in life (This is not just the Gen Xer in me whining … there are some real challenges.). In many ways, this is not what I wanted life to look like when we celebrated our tenth anniversary. I was disappointed, and a little angry about the circumstances.

Then I remembered two pieces of advice that we give couples in pre-marital counseling:
– You will have challenges in life, that is not your choice. Those challenges will drive you together or drive you apart, much of that is your choice.
– On your wedding day you give yourself to your spouse, and they give themselves to you. There is not a greater gift that you can give. There is not a greater gift that you can receive.

Robyn and I have weathered some storms of life over the past ten years, more storms than either of us would have anticipated, many of them outside of our control. While we always have the choice of how we will respond, and we do not always get it right, the storms have strengthened our bond. We are in this together.
The point of today is that we are in this thing together.
That is reason for great joy!

Ten years ago Robyn and I exchanged vows of commitment to each other. We did not lay out a business plan for a worry-free life. There were no powerpoint slides with life graphs always going up and to the right. We gave and received something even greater – self. We continue give ourselves to one another. There is still nothing more valuable that we could give or receive
The point of today is we continue to give and receive the most precious gifts possible.
That is reason for great joy!

The current challenges of life have allowed me to focus on what Robyn and I are really celebrating today – our union together. Today we celebrate the existence of “us.” That is it, and that is reason for great joy!

In the years to come, we will have anniversaries with more favorable circumstances. We will also have some anniversaries with less favorable circumstances. The circumstances are not really the point. The thing that we remember and rightfully celebrate today is our sacred promise to each other.

So today I take joy in the mysterious reality that when the question was asked,
“Do you intent to have Jim as your wedded husband. Do you pledge to love him, honor him, comfort him and protect him – through good times and bad times, in sickness and in health, in plenty and in want as long as you both shall live?”
Robyn answered, “I do.”

Robyn I love you. Here is a link to take you back in your memories to our first home together – that apartment made out of a boat factory – complete with strange pipes and mysterious bulges in the wall.  We sang this song about being together in the midst of challenging circumstances.